Music Production For Films

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Movies today have some of the best music production you will find – With movies such as Man Of Steel, Wonder Women, IT (Chapter 1 & 2), Black Panther, Avengers Endgame and Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, just to name a few. For aspiring musical artists and established artists alike, seeing a song you made, on the big screen, attached to a great film, “is awe-inspiring.” Seeing how an audience connects to a particular scene with your music playing, is a thing of beauty. But are today’s musical artists getting into the music industry to sell digital albums and singles, or are they looking to see their music attached to the latest documentary or big-budget movie. Let’s discuss this a little further, to see how the whole process works.


Mainstream Artists
Established musical artists in today’s music industry, have many avenues with which they draw their income from. Before the music era of Napster and I-Tunes, mainstream artists primarily focused on touring and “CD sales” for their revenue streams. After digital music outlets took control of the music industry, these mainstream artists were put into a position where they had to supplement their income in different ways. Some of them started clothing lines, released colognes and perfumes, and even opened up stores and shops. But when this change came, they also shifted towards another outlet – Television, Film, and Documentaries.
When digital sales and downloads took over, television, film, and documentary studios took notice and started making more, and more deals with major artists. And because of these artists established legacies, they are able to demand higher prices than other, lesser-known, competing artists.

These different “visual-image” studios contact these major artists managers and say that they are interested in putting their music in their next visual image (tv, film, documentary) project. They then tell the artist’s manager the genre and type of project it is (whether tv, film, or documentary) then they tell them the type of song (or songs) that they are looking for, and they follow it up with the music production budget that the studio has for that particular project. The artists’ manager relays the information to their major artist, the artists decides if the project is right for them or not, and then tells their manager their decision, and the manager goes back to let the studio know, what the musical artists have decided.


If the musical artist says that they are not interested, then the deal is “temporarily” dead. If they say that they are interested – They move forward with signing a contract between the two parties. If the musical artist says that they are interested, but the fee being offered is too low, then their manager goes back to the visual image studio and lets them know that their artist is interested, but that a different fee must be negotiated.

The two parties then work to come up with a fee that is fair to both parties (Around 80% of the time, they are able to come to a mutual agreement), and then a contract is signed, the studio allows the artists to see an unfinished version of the project (one without any music), and then the artist (and their writing team (if they have one)) will begin writing the song(s) to fit the project. If the visual image studio is not looking for “original” music for the project, and just wants to use some of the artist’s already released music, then the artists just makes a decision on whether or not they are interested, their manager negotiates a fee, they sign a contract, and the music is used.

Underground Artists

Working as an underground musical artist is a “grueling” – “draining” – process. You are working off of “pure passion” and love for the music, and there is “no guarantee” that you will ever be a success, that you will ever see your name up in lights, and be featured on a major award show, as a nominee for a prestigious award. But there are other ways with which underground artists are making a living, staying relevant, “and even rising” in the music industry – Having their music connected to visual images (tv, film, documentaries). By doing this, they are “instantly” having their music displayed to hundreds of thousands (sometimes even millions) of potential fans.

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Some underground artists are getting in the music industry, “just to have” their music featured in television shows, films, and documentaries – They don’t want the glitz and glamour. These artists say that they have happy, successful, lives, where millions of people hear and enjoy their music, through these visual images, without them having the stress, of all the things that come with, and are associated, with being a major artist.
There are many other underground artists that “want it all” – The money, the fame, the notoriety (to win awards, and have their names up and lights) – and will take any logical route to get there. And one of these logical routes is having their music synced with visual images.


Now the process for underground artists getting their music connected to these different visual image, studio, projects, is a lot different from that of major artists. Major artists are established, more well-known, so studios understand that by attaching their name’s to the project, the television, film, or documentary gains instant attention and curiosity (from potential fans). For underground artists, “they aren’t as lucky,” they have to fight to get their music in these projects. Unless they have “at least” one major hit song (that has made the Billboard Top 100, or Indie Charts Top 40), these visual image studios will not be reaching out to them. They will have to shop their music around to these studios (if they cannot afford, or do not yet have a manager) to see if the studio will want to try it out on their next project – In most cases (sadly enough), studios turn them down because they lack the notoriety and popularity.


Length Of Production – Music To Major Visual Projects
The length of production for music on visual image studios (tv, film, and documentaries) projects, depends heavily on the visual image studio – It begins and ends with them. Every visual image project (before physical production begins) is given a time frame, by the studio executives, as to 1. How much money they have to spend on the project, 2. How long they have to spend on the project, and 3. When the project is set to be released. With this information, the directors, producers, and music supervisors (during their discussions on the project) may have an idea of the artists (Major or Underground) that they want to work with.


When they do not have an idea, after they’re done filming the project, and during the editing process, they get a better idea of the type of music they want to see placed on it. They check their remaining budgets and then begin contacting the artists whom they wrote a list of. So the length of the production for the music, for these projects will always vary. The musical artists have little say in this length (even when it comes to major artists) of music production time, because these visual image studios continuously make adjustments and changes to their projects before they are released, and nothing is “set in stone,” until the project is available for viewing by the general public.